Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’ is back

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‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’ is back at the top of the box office this weekend for the first time in 23 years.

The film has grossed a total of $175,000 so far at 483 locations, originally reported Deadline, and is estimated to end the weekend in the $400,000 to $500,000 range. Directed by Irvin Kershner with executive production from George Lucas, ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ has not had a box office lead since its reissue in February 1997.

The lead brings the movie’s total gross in the US to $290.4 million, with its five- day gross standing at $210,000. Following its initial release on May

21, 1980, ‘Empire Strikes Back’ nabbed the No. 1 box office spot stateside for eight weeks and earned $547 million worldwide, making it the highest- grossing film of the year. Globally, all ‘Star Wars’ films have grossed a whopping $10.3 billion.

With the coronaviru­s pandemic still raging on, drive-in theatres account for the majority of box office locations. Classic reissues such as ‘ The Empire Strikes Back’ continue to perform well at driveins, with ‘Ghostbuste­rs’, ‘ Jurassic Park’, and ‘Jaws’ each collecting half a million dollars at less than 500 locations, as reported by Deadline.

‘The Empire Strikes Back’ is the fifth chronologi­cal film in the ‘Star Wars’ series, although it is the second in the original trilogy. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz, it is highly regarded as the best film in the “Star Wars” saga and was selected for preservati­on in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2010.

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